Use your 3DS as a gamepad on linux
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linux Selectively exclude devices using '-x' switch Dec 2, 2017
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ctroller lets you use your 3DS as an input device for your Linux system via the uinput kernel module. It consists of a client that runs on your 3DS, continously streaming the 3DS input data to a server on your PC. The server exposes a virtual device to your system, interpretes the data it receives and writes it to a event node under /dev/input/event* or similar.


You will need DevkitARM and the ctrulib to build the 3DS component.

Building the 3DS CIA requires bannertool and makerom to be in your $PATH.

To run the server, the uinput kernel module needs to be loaded:

$ modprobe uinput


Run make to build both components, or enter either of the 3DS/linux subdirectories to build them individually by running make there. You can use the debug target for development.


If you are using Arch Linux, install ctroller-git from the AUR. Or use ctroller-bin if you do not want to set up the 3DS toolchain.

  1. Install the server to your system by running make install. This is equivalent to:

    $ cd linux
    $ make install DESTDIR="" BINDIR="/usr/bin"

    You can set DESTDIR to a install to a different location, i.e. make DESTDIR="/my/fakeroot/environment" installs ctroller in /my/fakeroot/environment/usr/bin.

  2. Download the latest release of the 3DS binaries.

    Or you can build them yourself:

    $ cd 3DS
    $ make release
  3. Install ctroller.cia with the CIA-manager of your choice.

    If you want to install the 3DSX-executable:

    Copy ctroller.{3dsx,smdh} to /3ds/ctroller/ on your SD card. You can also directly upload the application to your 3DS using (do not blindly execute unknown scrips, I'm not responsible if this accidentally deletes your SD card or unfreezes your fridge). To do so, start a FTP server (such as ftpd) on your 3DS on port 5000, then run:

    $ cd 3DS
    $ make upload DSIP=<IP of your 3DS here>

    This requires ftp to be installed on your system.

  4. Create a directory ctroller in the root of your SD card

  5. Place 3DS/ctroller.cfg in there and replace the IP with the one of your PC. (The config file should now be at sdmc:/ctroller/ctroller.cfg)


Start the server by running:

$ ./linux/ctroller


  -d  --daemonize              execute in background
  -h  --help                   print this help text
  -p  --port=<num>             listen on port 'num' (defaults to 15708)
  -u  --uinput-device=<path>   uinput character device (defaults to /dev/uinput)

Then launch the ctroller.3dsx application on your 3DS using a homebrew launcher of your choice.

For development purposes, the 3DS-Makefile includes a run target that uses 3dslink to upload and run the application using the Homebrew Menu NetLoader.


This program is intended to be used in a private network. For simplicity, the server right now accepts any connection on it's port, which might pose a security risk if others can send data to it. This will be changed in future releases. For now, you probably shouldn't be using this in a public network.